I recently setup a phone system and got help from some friends. The phone system is primarily going to be used for my startup business. I wanted to sound like an established “big” business and not a one man shop. I started my research on a phone system and got quotes from few hundred dollars to up to 8 thousands of dollars. I was not going to spend $8k to setup a phone system for my start up business. So I contacted a few friends and they recommended a VoIP System
What is VoIP you can read all about it here.
It’s a technology that allows you to make phone calls over data network such as the Internet. The cost is significantly lower than a traditional phone system. The nice thing about the VoIP Phone Systems is that there are a lot of free phone software you can choose from. Asterisk is a popular VoIP server you can run for free. It is a business grade phone server and is currently being used by thousands of businesses. These system are very powerful and can handle thousands of calls if implemented correctly.
The one system I was impressed with was the IVR. It allows you to have voice prompted menu system you know for example thank you for calling abc company for sales press 1 for support press 2. I was able to implement this feature quite easy and have 4 menu items to make my startup sound like a company with proper departments etc. Even though I am a one man show.
Call transfer feature was easy. You can transfer the call to another extension or even an external number pretty easy. During my testing I purchased a temporary number to test with. I was able to setup the caller id to my company name and guess what? When I called out it actually advertised the exact caller id. Call recording features are nice too. You can record a call by dialing a feature code. Even the call forwarding is included for free and very easy to use.
The follow me feature was also a great feature to have. I am not always going to be by my office phone. once I setup Follow me the system will call my cell phone at the same time my office phone rings. I can pick up the phone and answer it right away without missing a single call. If I don’t pick up the cell the system will bring the call back to the Office Voicemail greeting instead of my personal greeting on my cell phone. The system really is very powerful and I am very happy with it.
It did take me some time to get it up and running but once its up it’s very easy to manage. I would highly recommend this phone system for any business. The cost savings and the rich features just makes you wonder how something so great can be free. I did donate some money to show my thanks and it’s important that we support these software developers to continue making amazing software. Hey beats an 8k system!